How To

How to Make More Room In Your Luggage for Books



Always books. Never boring.

This is a guest post by Kristina Pino. Kristina is a freelance photographer and writer with too many hobbies and not a single idea what she wants to be when she grows up. It probably involves sunflowers, books, and a healthy amount of travel. For now, she writes about nerdy stuff and lives in Japan. You can learn more about Kristina at or follow her on Twitter @geekerydo.

We’ve all been there. It’s time to pack for a trip, and you’re more interested in making sure you’ve got enough reading material to last all vacation than planning every outfit. Maybe you read books in print, digital, and even audiobook formats, and generally assume you’ll be just fine with your eReader; that is, until doubt strikes when it’s time to pack. While that does work for many people, I’ve found that planning the reading order of books on my TBR pile never works, and despite the convenience of an eReader for travel, I always pack a few books in print.

If the struggle is real for you, check out the quick packing tips below to save some room in that suitcase for more books.

You don’t need as many outfits as you think you do

Seriously, you don’t. Whether you’re out for a 3-day weekend or two weeks, you don’t really need to pack more than a few tops, and maybe a casual “going out” getup (this depends on the purpose of your trip, of course) outside of what you wear on your travel days. Maybe an extra pair of shorts or something. I see you bundling three pairs of shoes – stop that, too. Unless you really, really need to pack special kicks for some kind of event, a pair of comfortable walking shoes should cover it.

Afraid your clothes will start to smell after a day or two? Air them out in the evenings wherever you’re sleeping and throughout the day if you’re able to as well. Pack some deodorant spray or a small bottle of febreeze. That takes up less space than packing three outfits for no reason except to be wearing a different thing for each day in your photo album later on.

Going somewhere cold? Consider wearing your bulky jacket on your travel days, or get a space saver bag. Not all space saving bags require a vacuum, and they can be pretty cheap.

Forget the toiletries, too

There are exceptions, of course, but unless you have specific products you absolutely need to use, you don’t actually need to pack a toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc. because most hotels supply them automatically or upon request. Not staying at a hotel? Hit up a convenience store for the essentials and leave them behind once you’re done with your trip. It doesn’t seem like you’d be saving a lot of space here, but think of the size of your toiletry bag (this includes perfume/cologne – do you really need that?) and then look at one of the books you want to pack.

And the underwear

I was going to put this in the first section, but I wanted to make sure you at least read this far before being scared off by the mere thought of being caught without underpants. Before you close this window in disgust, just hear me out: You do not need to pack underwear.


Because most places you’d travel to probably have a store where you can buy a 5-pack for cheap, and then leave behind when you’re done with your trip. Latent effect: less smelly laundry when you get back home.

Obviously, it’s up to you whether this would make enough of a difference in your luggage volume to accomodate another book from your TBR pile, but I’m just putting it out there.

Bonus tip

Need room for souvenirs? All that space you made for books can be re-purposed for those if you mail your books back to your home before re-packing. Or you can mail the souvenirs home. Just don’t stress out about having enough space to bring everything back.

Have any additional tips of your own? Holler in the comments, travelers!